Home Ministry urges all states to take immediate action to curb smartphone frauds

The ministry has designated the Intelligence Bureau as the nodal agency for coordination with state governments for facilitating investigation into all such cases.

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Smartphones have changed the way we live our lives. The devices have facilitated us to carry out a lot of functions apart from using it just as a communication device. Be it ordering food, online shopping, booking hotels or transportation or even carrying out banking transactions, smartphones today have made our lives much easier.

Government to take immediate action to curb smartphone frauds

 

However, with the rise in the smartphone trend, phone frauds, especially by using debit and credit cards and e-wallets, besides fraudulent transfers of funds, are on the rise and have become a matter of concern. Following which the home ministry has now said and asked all states to take immediate action to check such crimes.

The ministry has designated the Intelligence Bureau as the nodal agency for coordination with state governments for facilitating investigation into all such cases.

In a communication, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said it has been noticed that financial frauds involving mobile phones and e-wallets are being carried out by fraudsters adopting various modes of operations.

"With the increase in the use of digital payments by the common Indian public, phone frauds, especially through debit/credit cards and e-wallets are also rising. Such frauds are committed using or involving a payment card, such as a credit card or debit card, to fraudulently transfer funds from such card to an e-wallet account," the ministry said.

The purpose of such frauds may be to buy goods without paying or to obtain unauthorized funds from an account and the credit card fraud is also an adjunct to identify theft. In most of the cases, the frauds have been found to be under Rs. 50,000.

A few cases are of the kind where the customer themselves have revealed debit or credit card details, ATM PIN or OTP and fell prey to the fraudsters while in a few cases financial frauds have been committed even without the customer being at fault or being aware of it, the ministry said. In such e-frauds, the cheated money is routed first to e-wallets.

 

"The Ministry of Home Affairs is concerned about rising phone frauds. An inter-ministerial committee on phone frauds has been constituted under the MHA which is periodically reviewing various aspects of dealing with phone frauds," it said.

A coordination division of the Intelligence Bureau has been designated as a central nodal agency to coordinate with the state and union territories for facilitating investigations, the ministry has stated. The division is in the process of developing a web-based common platform for coordination among law enforcement agencies and nodal officers of wallet companies.

Further, the Reserve Bank of India has also been requested to direct all e-wallet providers to their nodal officers for better coordination with law enforcement agencies.

All states have been told to designate one Additional Director General of Police or the Inspector General of Police-Crime as nodal officer for coordination with different agencies on matters of phone frauds, share best practices and suggestions to curb phone frauds.

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The states and UTs have also been requested to strengthen their information exchange network and enhance cooperation as most such crimes are done by inter-state gangs.

The Ministry has also highlighted the importance of taking coordinated multi-agency actions in villages and towns from where most of the phone frauds emanate followed by thorough investigations.

Inputs from PTI

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